Freedom Readers Bring Puppets to Life by Roz Gentry

Linda the Librarian, assisted by Roz, made her debut at Freedom Readers on July 12 with help from two furry rabbits, a floppy-eared dog, a warm, cuddly lamb, a scary wolf, and a long-beaked toucan, all brought to life by very creative students. 

Linda the Librarian, a funny looking woman with wild hair and glasses, told the animals that they were to keep quiet – meaning no laughing or giggling ever – no food or drinks allowed, and there would definitely be no bathroom breaks.  The rabbits were told not to hop, the dog had to keep his tail from wagging, the lamb couldn’t “baa” or he might end up as a lamb chop for dinner, and the wolf was not to lick his lips around the rabbits or lamb.  As for the toucan, who has a reaaaaallllly long beak, he was to keep it zipped at all times.  Finally, Linda the Librarian, insisted that everyone had to wear white gloves in order to touch the books.

Sound like a fun place to go?  NO WAY!  So Linda the Librarian gave out the final rule:  Ignore these silly rules, have fun, and READ!


Where did Linda the Librarian come from?  The creative hands of my real sister Linda!  Linda made and performed with more than 100 puppets during her career.  She held a masters degree in theatre as well as a masters degree in library science and was a children’s librarian for many years.  She was sooooo funny, talented and full of life.  But she also had a bad heart that couldn’t be repaired, and eight years ago she died a week after receiving a heart/lung transplant.  I inherited many of her puppets but I’m not sure how to bring them to life like Linda did.  In fact, they’ve stayed in a big storage box most of the time until I became part of Freedom Readers.  I brought them in thinking they might help some of the more shy readers.  I was very excited to see the smiles on the children’s faces.  The fact that I didn’t know how to work Linda the Librarian didn’t really seem to matter.  Puppets just make everyone smile!  Linda would have been so excited, too ….. and glad that her “children” had a chance to come to life, if just for a short time.

Roz Gentry


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